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AEW Rampage Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 18

Sana Ejaz Khan

    Friday's lineup

    Welcome to ProfessionalPK coverage and recap of AEW Rampage on November 18.

    This is the final show before Saturday's Full Gear PPV, so it was all hands on deck as AEW prepared itself for another long event.

    Hook stepped into the ring with Lee Moriarty, Athena took on Madison Rayne, Lance Archer faced Ricky Starks in the semifinals of the world title eliminator tournament, and Ortiz teamed up with Eddie Kingston to battle Konosuke Takeshita and Jun Akiyama.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened during Friday's show.

Lance Archer vs. Ricky Starks

1 OF 4

    Lance Archer and Ricky Starks.

    The show opened with a scene of mayhem as Starks and Archer began fighting in the backstage area. They fought toward the ring but ended up going into the crowd before the ref could call for the bell.

    These two beat the life out of each other before ever getting close to the ring. While he was giving up a few dozen pounds and several inches in height, Starks did a great job staying in the fight. He didn't feel like as much of an underdog as he usually would in a situation like this.

    The Murderhawk Monster took control with a big chokeslam on the apron as the show cut to a break. He maintained dominance until Starks countered the setup to his finisher and unloaded with big shots to the head.

    These two work very different styles, but they managed to make them work for each other to put on a fun and competitive opening match. Starks ended up hitting a huge spear and rolled right into the pin for the win. As Brian cage came out to confront his Full Gear opponent, Archer attacked him from behind.

    Winner: Ricky Starks

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Archer diving over the barricade to take Starks down was a great spot. The camera was in the perfect spot to capture it, too. 
    • Starks is a much better babyface than expected. He was such a good heel that there was doubt he would ever be able to be likable, but he is doing a great job. 
    • The chokeslam on the apron looked brutal. Starks sold it well. 

Hook vs. Lee Moriarty

2 OF 4

    Hook and Lee Moriarty.

    The Firm's Moriarty took on FTW champion Hook in the second match of the night. Taigastyle had a slight height and weight advantage, but Hook more than made up for it with his speed.

    These two work similar styles, so they had great chemistry right away. They utilized strikes, throws and submissions to make this a fun bout that showed off their technical prowess.

    Stokely Hathaway tripped Hook to cause a distraction. The 27-year-old had control for a few minutes after that, but Hook still managed to pick up the win with Red Rum to extend his winning streak.

    Moriarty helped Hook deliver his best match to date. Both men looked good, but credit is due to Taigastyle for being the first person to give the FTW champ a run for his money.

    Winner: Hook

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Jericho has been much better on commentary ever since he realized he doesn't have to yell everything he says. 
    • Moriarty should be on TV more often. He works so well with anyone. 
    • Hook has improved his selling but it's still one of the areas where he needs a little work. 
    • The back of Hook's head hit the middle turnbuckle after one move. It looked rough but he appeared to be fine. 

Athena vs. Madison Rayne

3 OF 4

    Athena and Madison Rayne.

    Athena attacked Rayne as she was posing in the corner to get the action going. She continued to show more of her new heel persona as she began to make her opponent suffer.

    A weird spot with a suplex led to both women going down. It looked like it might have been a botch that was supposed to be a counter from Rayne.

    Athena recovered quickly and won with her finisher in just a couple of minutes. The spot when she hit her head was kind of scary, but nothing else about this stood out.

    Athena and Rayne are both tremendous talents, but this was too short to allow them to do anything special. Mercedes Martinez came out to drive Athena away, so that could be the next ROH Women's Championship feud.

    Winner: Athena

    Grade: C

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Rayne was shown giving a pre-taped promo when Athena attacked her. They had to cut right back to the ring, but we missed the initial attack until a replay was shown. 
    • Athena's winged jacket is cool but must it must be tough to travel with it in her luggage.
    • Athena laying out Aubrey Edwards got a lot of heat from the crowd. 

Eddie Kingston and Ortiz vs. Konosuke Takeshita and Jun Akiyama

4 OF 4

    Kingston, Ortiz, Takeshita and Akiyama.

    It might not have been a singles match, but Kingston got to face his dream opponent in the main event when he and Ortiz battled Akiyama and Takeshita in a tag team bout.

    The Mad King and Takeshita started in the ring together, but Kingston told him to tag in Akiyama. Takeshita made him wait and locked up to begin the action.

    Ortiz tagged in so Kingston could run across the ring and knock Akiyama down with a cheap shot. Akiyama tagged in and returned the favor after taking down Ortiz.

    We got all the way through the commercial break before the two men everyone wanted to see fight had a chance to engage in battle, but The Mad King had to survive a striking exchange with Takeshita first.

    While they had a chance to fight a bit, AEW purposely booked this match so Kingston and Akiyama did not have a ton of time in the ring together. It feels like a singles match is in their future, so they kept it simple this time.

    This was a hard-hitting affair that ended with Team DDT scoring the win when Akiyama pinned Ortiz. This is definitely leading to something more, possibly as soon as Full Gear if Tony Khan decides to add more to the card.

    Winners: Takeshita and Akiyama

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • AEW did a good job illustrating why this was so important to Kingston. It didn't take a lot of work to make this feel like a big deal. 
    • Takeshita's love for Cinnabon is so well-known that fans are bringing signs that mention it. Wrestling fans are the best sometimes. 
    • The piledriver Ortiz took was nasty. When that move looks convincing, it's almost scary. 
    • Ortiz is a lot of fun to watch. He is great at body language and facial expressions. 


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